Rangers star denies Russian assault report, team says it’s payback after Putin criticism

New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin is taking a depart of absence from the team after a Russian tabloid printed allegations from a former coach that he attacked a lady in Latvia nearly a decade in the past, which he denies.

Andrei Nazarov, a former NHL enforcer who coached Panarin within the Kontinental Hockey League, informed Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda in a narrative printed Saturday that Panarin attacked an 18-year-old Latvian lady in a resort bar within the Latvian capital of Riga following a sport in December 2011.

Nazarov informed the tabloid that Panarin knocked the girl to the ground with “a number of highly effective blows.” Nazarov added that he later heard that the Latvian authorities regarded into the incident however that no motion was taken after “authoritative” locals negotiated with the police to not pursue the case, allegedly after cash modified arms.

Nazarov mentioned he was motivated to talk about the alleged incident as a result of he disagreed with Panarin’s repeated criticism of the Russian authorities.

“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations on this fabricated story,” the Rangers mentioned in an announcement Monday. “This is clearly an intimidation tactic getting used towards him for being outspoken on current political occasions. Artemi is clearly shaken and anxious and can take a while away from the team. The Rangers absolutely help Artemi and can work with him to establish the supply of those unfounded allegations.”

Panarin has been a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and last month posted his support on social media for opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was arrested final month upon returning to Moscow and was sentenced to 2 years and eight months in jail for violating phrases of his probation.

Panarin, 29, has performed within the NHL since 2015 and was a finalist for the league’s MVP award final season. He received the Calder Trophy as rookie of the yr in 2016 with Chicago the place he performed two seasons, went to Columbus for 2 extra after which signed an $81.5 million, seven-year contract with New York in 2019.

He leads the Rangers with 18 factors on 5 targets and 13 assists. They subsequent play Wednesday towards Philadelphia.

Panarin performed for Nazarov with Vityaz Chekhov from 2010-2012.

The submit Rangers star denies Russian assault report, team says it’s payback after Putin criticism appeared first on NBC News.

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